Black Beans

01aBlackBeansSortbfLOIt all started with a trip to Costco…

I came across a jumbo-sized (of course) box of frozen black bean burger patties and thought they might could make for an interesting meat-free dinner one evening.

But the thing about the jumbo-sizedness of that box, and the commitment involved with actually having to eat all those bb burgers if it turned out we weren’t all that fond of the suckers, made me decide that healthy burger dinner could wait.

Then, I came across aBlackBeanBurgersbfLO much more ‘I’m not certain we’ll like these’ sized box of four in the freezer case at our local market.

And you know what?

They aren’t too, too bad!

05SherrySoyWinebfLOWe’ve done veggie burgers in the past, marinated in pineapple terryaki, then grilled and served with mayonnaise, red onion slices, cheese and tomato; but these I did simply in a skillet and served with regular burger toppings.

Then, I came across a Sandra Lee recipe for making your own black bean patties, with a bonus recipe of black bean enchiladas to make from the leftovers…

02OnionsbfLOSandra’s recipe started with a couple of cans of black beans, but I thought I could cut out some sodium, add some flavor, and save a buck or two by starting with dried.

Good move! And the recipe I found, Kemp’s Vegetarian Black Beans from Gourmet magazine vie, is a keeper.

Note: as (almost) always, I’ve tweaked the original recipes to suit my own tastes, preferences and pantry supplies.

•1 lb dried black beans (about 2 1/3 cups), picked over and rinsed (but not soaked)
•1 medium onion, finely chopped
•3 tbsp olive oil
•1 cup veggie stock
•7 cups water
•1-1/2 tsp salt
•1/4 cup sherry
•1 tbsp soy sauce
•1 tbsp red wine
•1/8 tsp dried garlic
•1/8 tsp Aleppo pepper

Add the beans to a large pot with the onion, olive oil, the water, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt.

04BlackBeansSimmeredbfLOBring to a boil, then turn down the heat and simmer, covered, for 90 minutes to two hours – or until the beans are tender.

Stir in the remaining teaspoon of salt, the sherry, soy sauce, red wine, garlic, and Aleppo pepper (if you can’t find Aleppo pepper, try using just a pinch of Cayenne).

Bring back to the boil, then simmer, uncovered, for five minutes.

Give the beans a taste.

06Beans2ndDaybfLOThey’re good, but

they’ll be a lot better if allowed to cool, then stashed in the fridge to rest over night, which is what I did.

When ready to use them, thin with a bit of water and gently reheat.


Like I said, this all started with those black bean burger patties at Costco. These beans are, I can assure you, tasty just as they are, 07BeansDrainedRinsedbfLOand would make a fine addition to any meal, but there was the matter of Ms. Lee’s burger mixture…

•1/2 medium yellow onion, roughly chopped
•2 cloves garlic, chopped
•3 cups drained & rinsed cooked black beans
08aBeansProcessorbfLO•1 tbsp fresh parsley leaves
•1 egg
•1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
•1/2 cup panko crumbs
•Salt and fresh ground black pepper

Add the onion and garlic to your food processor, fitted with the metal blade, and pulse until they are finely chopped.

Add 1-1/2 cup of the beans, the parsely, egg, and red pepper flakes and pulse to combine.

09BeanMixturebfLOAdd the panko crumbs and pulse again to blend well.

Turn the bean mixture out into a large mixing bowl and add the remaining 1-1/2 cup of drained and rinsed black beans.

Stir to combine, then taste and add salt and pepper to taste.

10EnchiladasRolledbfLOTo make burgers, divide the mixture into patties (a round cookie cutter is a big help here), then cook on an oiled, hot grill for six minutes per side. This mixture should be good for at least six fine and tasty meatless burgers.

Of course, I had other plans…

I’d made some cheese and onion enhiladas that we quite liked, then some black bean enchiladas that were… OK.

How’s about if I combined this lovely black bean mixture with the cheese and onion, rolled ’em all up in corn tortillas and added a freshly made guajillo chile sauce?

Yeh, I thought so, too.

Check it out, here.

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